S. Florida home sales rise, but prices likely to go still lower

South Florida home sales rose in August at a rate not seen in more than four years, amid signs that lower prices are drawing buyers back into the region's long-slumping housing market.

The market still has a long way to go: The inventory of homes for sale actually rose in Miami-Dade County compared to a year earlier, and market watchers say that number needs to shrink before prices will stabilize.

Numbers released Wednesday by the Florida Association of Realtors showed existing single-family home sales in Miami-Dade County increased 22 percent and Broward sales increased 12 percent compared to the same period a year ago. Condominium sales were up 13 percent in Miami-Dade, while Broward condo activity for the month was even compared to August 2007.

It's the first time since June 2004 that sales across the board have not declined compared to the year before.

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